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November 1, 2013 10:11 am

Declassified Document: Israel Could Have Predicted Yom Kippur War

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IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz surveys reserve troops on Yom Kippur, 2011. Photo: IDF Spokesperson.

JNS.org Newly declassified documents from the hearings of the Agranat Commission, which was formed after the 1973 Yom Kippur War to investigate Israel’s lack of preparedness, show that then-Military Intelligence Director Eli Zeira asked that Israel’s sophisticated devices meant to provide an early warning of any attack remained switched off.

The documents, released Wednesday, show that Menachem Digli, then head of the Intelligence Corps Collection Department, repeatedly asked Zeira to approve the activation of the devices, only to be rebuffed each time, Israel Hayom reported. The exact nature and operating methods of the so-called “special means” devices, most likely listening devices developed by Israel’s signal intelligence unit 8200, remain classified.

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“All through the week leading up to the war… I kept pressuring [Zeira] to activate them,” Digli told the commission. “There was mounting pressure to turn them on, but the answer was ‘no.’ This was on Oct. 2 (four days before the war).”

Zeira said he was consistently against turning on the special devices because of the risks involved in doing so.

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